When people ask me why I am running for the Phoenix City Council, my answer is very straightforward. I grew up here, ran a small business, and raised a child here. I understand on the most personal level what a terrific community Phoenix is and I want to see our city realize its true potential as one of our nation’s greatest cities, with excellent educational, cultural, and work opportunities.

Our great potential can be realized with true vision and a lot of hard work, which is something I’m no stranger to. During the toughest times of my life, it has been hard work and the support and kindness of others that has enabled me to get on my feet, get a job, and bring my daughter the home-life stability she needed. I became the first woman in the state of Arizona to sell life insurance and I worked hard at it. Over time, I succeeded. I moved into selling health insurance, established my own brokerage firm, and that little girl that went through tough times at my side went on to get a great education and become a vascular surgeon.

This experience taught me the value of hard work and tenacity, but it also taught me that a few caring people can change the world. It’s why I chose to run for the Phoenix City Council, and will guide the type of elected leader I will be.

I will always have an open door to discuss any issue, and will make decisions with full transparency. I have not accepted one single lobbyist donation to my campaign and never will, because as your elected leader I will be accountable to only you — not well-funded special interests. In contrast, my opponent’s campaign is funded by the same lobbyists and special interests that will benefit from the decisions he makes on the City Council. 

And I will represent every single resident passionately, fairly, and equally. When my opponent attempted to derail the recently passed ordinance that would protect people from being fired on the basis of disability or sexual orientation, I knew more than ever that it is time for a change.

It is time to fight for vibrant neighborhoods, low crime rates, and safe streets and schools. It is time to grow our economy, create new, high-wage jobs, and ensure every child can access excellent local schools. It is time to fully realize our great potential — openly, transparently, and now. 

I’m proud to have earned the support of your Arizona police and firefighters, Mayor Greg Stanton, and neighborhood leaders from all across our community, and I hope to have the opportunity to talk to you about the future of our city and how we can work together to make it great. You can read more at my website www.karleneforcouncil.com and I humbly ask for your vote on or before Aug. 27.

• Karlene Keogh Parks is an Independent candidate for Phoenix City Council District 6, which includes Ahwatukee Foothills. Reach her at www.KarleneForCouncil.com.

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